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The Five Points of Calvinism: Defined, Defended, and Documented Paperback – March 12, 2004
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"One could hardly wish for a better study resource to show the five points' faithfulness to Scripture." --J. I. Packer
"Truly a classicclear, concise, and warm in its presentation of historic Reformed theology. This latest edition is even better than the original." --R. C. Sproul
"Next to the doctrine of salvation, the sovereignty of God has, to me, been the most powerfully comforting truth. My thanks to P&R Publishing for issuing a new edition of this excellent book." --Joni Eareckson Tada
About the Author
David N. Steele (1926-1991) served as pastor of several Baptist churches in Arkansas until his retirement in 1978. In addition to the present work, he coauthored Romans: An Interpretive Outline. At the time of his death, Steele was working on a manuscript dealing with the terms "all" and "world" throughout the New Testament. His wife, Ruth, is also deceased.
Curtis C. Thomas served as pastor of Baptist churches in Arkansas. More recently, for fourteen years he was the executive pastor of The Bible Church of Little Rock, an independent Reformed congregation. He retired after having spent forty-four years in the ministry. Along with Mr. Steele, he coauthored Romans: An Interpretive Outline. He is also the author of Practical Wisdom for Pastors: Words of Encouragement and Counsel for a Lifetime of Ministry. He continues to write and is a frequent guest speaker in churches throughout central Arkansas and the surrounding area. He and his wife, Betty, have three grown sons and several grandchildren.
S. Lance Quinn is the pastor-teacher of The Bible Church of Little Rock. He received the M.Div. and Th.M. degrees from The Master's Seminary, and the Drs. degree from the Evangelische Theologische Faculteit in Leuven, Belgium. Prior to coming to The Bible Church of Little Rock, he served as manager of ministries at the Grace to You radio ministry, and for ten years was the senior associate pastor and personal assistant to John F. MacArthur at Grace Community Church in southern California.
In addition to his pastoral ministry, Quinn serves on several boards, including Grace to You, the Fellowship of Independent Reformed Evangelicals, and the National Association of Nouthetic Counselors. He has written many articles and has contributed chapters to various books,
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Top Customer Reviews
I have, during these 34 years, believed the doctrines of: free-will, dispensationalism, semi-works salvation (Baptist style). THEN, Reformation theology was presented to me. I balked, fought against it, considered it a lie. Next, I read 'The Five Points of Calvinism' and God revealed His truth through it. I have read many, many books on Reformation theology since, and NOW it is ALL so clear...God's eternal plan, why the five 'solas' described in this book are the basis for understanding God's character, His master plan. I have a two-word suggestion for you: BUY IT!
The subtitle on the book cover identifies this volume as a definition, defense, and supporting documentation for the Five Points of Calvinism. When I saw the length of the book (247 pages), I initially surmised that most, if not all of the book would be the definition (Part One) and defense (Part Two) portions of the subtitle. However, those two points take up only just over 25% of the book. Surprisingly, Part Three (Documentation) and an extensive series of Appendixes make up most of the remaining portion of the book.
Though I've never seen a positional book put together quite like this one, I found it interesting and a very effective use of the material. The impressive Documentation section contained a virtual "who's-who" when it comes to printed material on Calvinism and, to a greater degree, the Reformed Theology doctrinal position. I found the most unusual part of the book was Part Two. The authors chose to simply provide a Section Title (such as TOTAL DEPRAVITY OR TOTAL INABILITY), then added a brief introduction, and then listed under a number of short subtitles (such as "Spiritual Deadness" and "Darkened Minds" and "Corrupt Hearts") a large number of applicable portions of scripture that developed the major Section Title. The authors stated that the scripture alone would be listed without any formal commentary. Their point being they wanted to allow scripture alone to support The Five Points of Calvinism.
Initially, I thought this style of presentation may turn out to be unclear and very risky, but after I read each and every one of the scriptures, I found that they were a very powerful defense in and of themselves. Very importantly, care was taken in each case to ensure enough scripture was printed to establish the context of the passages. I shouldn't have been, but I was amazed over how each grouping of passages wonderfully revealed a picture of each of the sub-points of The Five Points of Calvinism.
After reading a number of the 1 and 2-star reviewers, it was clear that most of them didn't clearly pick up the style the authors used. Possibly, if they reread the author's explanatory portions of the book, I'm confident their criticism would be proved unfounded and certainly unnecessary.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this classic explanation and defense of Calvinism. I especially enjoyed the Appendixes, which included a beautiful one entitled A Defense of Calvinism, by Charles H. Spurgeon. Also, the section identifying suggested reading material on the different nuances of Calvinism is absolutely priceless. If there was a downside of this book, it would be the unnecessarily rude language used with respect to those with whom Calvinists disagreed with. One example is a quote from Phillip R. Johnson pertaining to Norman Geisler's book: "It is a stunningly inept treatment of the subject it undertakes" (page 114). This kind of thing was unnecessary and detracted from an otherwise outstanding book.
To a small degree, I expected this book to be a somewhat dry and even tedious. I was very surprised how readable it is from start to finish. This may be a 40-something year old classic, but it's as modern, clearly presented and therefore as enjoyable a book to read as one might desire. Whether you consider yourself doctrinally a Calvinist, an Arminian, or something in between, I highly recommend this excellent book for your consideration.